“The Muppets:” Still a great laugh

If you want to see a movie this weekend and you would rather not see a bunch of teenage vampires frolic, then perhaps “The Muppets,” is right for you.

In “The Muppets,” three hopefuls from Kansas come to Los Angeles with a plan. Gary (Jason Segal) and his long term girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams) are planning their 10 year anniversary dinner and have chosen downtown L.A. as a backdrop. The couple decides that they should bring Gary’s brother Walter, (voiced by Peter Linz) who is a Muppet and is a fan of The Muppet Show which has a studio in Hollywood.

In L.A. the trio puts everything on hold when they find out that the now desolate Muppet studio is being threatened by an evil oil tycoon, Tex Richman (Chris cooper.) Richman has plans to destroy the studio and drill for oil underneath. That is unless the Muppets can raise $11 million in two days.

Jason Segal plays an adorable big brother to Walter. His cool laid back attitude, which is very reminiscent of his character in  “Knocked Up,” goes well with him being a responsible, older sibling. When pressed with choosing between his girlfriend and his brother, Segal is pushed to the limit but remains calm and cool. He makes me wish he was my older brother.

Unlike Gary, Mary is not a Muppet fan. Amy Adams, as Mary, holds her tongue for most of the film while her ambitions take a backseat to the Muppet studio’s fate. Adams is a great actor for playing someone holding back a ball of rage and then exploding. She remains sweet, however, and goes along with Gary and Walter’s plans for a good while and even gets her own solo which she sings quite well.

In the Muppet universe, Muppets are puppets that exist and function in society just like normal people. The puppeteering or “muppet-eering” is well done and makes their existence in real life seem possible thanks to the help of computer special effects which  make the Muppets walk and talk with no strings attached.

Seeing Walter next to Jason Segal might be a little nerve racking if you’re a fan of the old Muppets who  were attached to strings and could, therefore, never fully apear in front of the camera, but it works out well. The plot is about as corny as any other Muppet movie. There is obvious foreshadowing, outrageous irrationalities and inexplicit talents, but it is all in good fun and reminiscent of the classic Muppet movies and TV programs. The songs are great and very amusing and are sure to
be memorable.

This musical comedy is great for kids and brings back a personal childhood favorite for a new generation to enjoy. I highly recommned this film to fans of the old series and novices to the Muppets.

So, if you’re looking for a humorous movie with a bit of classic appeal and would rather not watch vampires run around for an hour and a half, don’t miss “The Muppets.”

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